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(30:58; Hitchtone Music)
TRACK LIST: 1. Mreznicko Kolo 4:12 2. Privid Zajednistva 3:11 3. Kineska Mocvara 3:31 4. Drabo Nuevo 3:21 5. Rimska Salata 4:03 6. Vrlika 4:56 7. Enofazni Stevec 3:52 8. Blue House 3:52 LINEUP: Doringo - guitars Mihovil Jurdana - bass Damir Mihaljevic - drums with: Orjen Ridanovic - guitars Aldo Fosko - bass clarinet Mak Murtic - saxophone Lucija Stanojevic - violin
Prolusion. Croation band DORINGO appears to have come into existence sometime not too long before 2017, and following the release of their debut album "Infography" in 2017 the band has released new material at a steady pace. Mainly individual tracks, but also a live EP appeared fairly early on. "Guzva u Svemiru" is the band's second album, and was released through Croatian label Hitchtone Music in 2020.
Analysis. Doringo describe themselves as an instrumental progressive rock band, and on their releases they also include the tag surf rock to better describe their general sound. That this second album of theirs is released on a label that primarily specialize in jazz and music close to that genre of music kind of makes this an intriguing case to approach. The band's closest ties to progressive rock comes in the manner in which their material is structured. They tend to opt for two alternating and often subtly contrasting main arrangements, with some interludes, prologues or epilogues tossed in for good measure. Occasionally also adding a few more twists within the main part of the composition. Hence not following the most common song structures, and unless I'm much mistaken they do include a few moments with more of an improvised spirit to them here and there too. The surf rock aspects here are mainly by way of the key driving instrument identity of the band: Plucked, freely flowing and fluctuating guitar lines. Often giving off something of a surf rock vibe due to the often playful nature when the instrument is providing a solo run or otherwise dominant motif, although at times associations towards both ska and folk music were noted in this department. At least in my subjective opinion. The rhythm section caters for more of the jazz-oriented features of the band, with bass and drums taking turns in delivering a backbone with more of an expressive spirit. These aren't dominating traits though, and not ever present features, but recurring elements used here and there to good effect, giving some of the material a slight jazz rock flavoring. Additional elements noted throughout were likely folk music inspired details, from Eastern sounding vibes to something of an Americana touch on concluding song 'Blue House', and that the instruments in just about all the songs here had something of a mathematical precision to them, giving these songs a slight an ever so slight touch of math rock as well. Guest musicians provide some additional flavoring, with saxophone, bass clarinet and the violin given prominent roles in the songs they appear in, yet without ever detracting from the wandering, plucked guitars that appears to be this band's main forte and mark of identity. Clocking in at just over half an hour, this is the perfect length for a production exploring this kind of music. Enough time to explore multiple variations, and not so long that the main ideas need to be explored on multiple occasions. Tight, playful and uplifting in mood and spirit, this is a fine example of an instrumental band that have managed to find their own tiny, exclusive landscape to explore, creating music that by and large defies many conventions and as such also merits a mention as progressive for this detail when seen in the greater context of what this band brings to the table.
Conclusion. Doringo isn't a band with music that screams progressive rock from the top of their allegorical lungs, but rather carefully wander in and out of songs with details from multiple genres of music, revolving around a subtly idiosyncratic instrument detail that is explored in a great variety of manners. While this band doesn't represent any of these styles themselves, their use of elements inspired by these or with similarities to these makes me think that liberal minded fans of jazzrock, folk rock, math rock and surf rock should take note of this band, and see if this latest album by Doringo sounds appealing. Especially those among them with a strong affection for instrumental music.
Progmessor: June 2020
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